Please DONATE to help with maintenance and upkeep of the Wind Repertory Project!

Fantasy on a Gaelic Hymnsong

From Wind Repertory Project
Jump to navigation Jump to search
David Holsinger

David Holsinger

This article is a stub. If you can help add information to it,
please join the WRP and visit the FAQ (left sidebar) for information.

General Info

Year: 1999
Duration: c. 5:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: TRN Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $90.00  |   Score Only (print) - $12.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Cornet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III

(percussion detail desired)


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This rhythmically exciting work is based on the gentle Gaelic melody known to most as Morning has Broken, but after a brief expressive introduction, all gentleness is left behind! Holsinger spends the rest of the piece moving through an interesting series of modulations while pitting different instrumental choirs against each other in a duple vs. triple contest. The result is a sense of unceasing rhythmic vitality held together by the ever-present and familiar melodic motif.

- Program Note from publisher

Commissioned by the Danville High School Concert Band, Danville, Illinois, Chuck Hess, Director of Bands

- Program Note from score

One of my earliest recollections growing up in the Hardin Methodist Church was that wonderful Sunday when the new red hymnals arrived. For as long as I could remember we always sang out of ragged and worn black hymnals that I was sure had been purchased in my grandfather's lifetime. What intrigued me the most as a young musician was that this new hymnal contained a rather large number of "modern" sounding songs. I knew these new songs must be good and radical because, even with all the diversity and progressive harmonies these songs displayed, our choir leader refused to sing them because "they sounded strange." Several of the new songs weren't even written in four-part harmony, supposedly to be sung in unison to a "kinda-like-pop-music-accompaniment" ... which, of course, occasionally forced the choir leader to burst forth with a disparaging discourse on how the "Hymnal Committee" (somewhere out There in Methodist Official-Land) had certainly lost their senses and wasted a whole lot of paper on a bunch of "awful" songs unfit to sing in the Lord's House!

Well, I thought a lot of them were "cool", especially my favorite melody, Morning has Broken ... a refrain that has remained a favorite for years. Twenty-some years later, I KNEW the song was cool, when a recording artist named Cat Stevens used the song on his very best album (my opinion ...)."Cool" or inspirational, here is that melody I've always wished was mine! I hope you enjoy this Gaelic fantasy.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class BB
  • Louisiana: III
  • North Carolina: IV
  • Tennessee: V
  • Virginia: V


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Concordia University (Irvine, Calif.) Wind Orchestra (Jeff Held, conductor) – 9 November 2019
  • Lutheran High School South (St. Louis, Mo.) Wind Symphony (Matthew C. Janssen, conductor) – 27 March 2019
  • Dalton/Whitfield Community Band (Tunnel Hill, Ga.) (George “Smitty” Barnett, conductor) – 12 November 2018
  • Lee University (Cleveland, Tenn.) Wind Ensemble (David Holsinger, conductor) – 11 October 2016
  • Encore Concert Band (Mokena, Ill.) (Bill Schuetter, conductor) – 1 May 2016
  • Rockwood (Mo.) All-District Honor Band (Curran Prendergast, conductor) – 21 November 2015

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • David Holsinger website Accessed 29 August 2021
  • Holsinger, D. (1999). Fantasy on a Gaelic Hymnsong [score]. TRN Music: Ruidoso, N.M.